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Showing posts from July, 2008

Nasscom Product Conclave on Aug.11-12

The NASSCOM Product Conclave & Expo 2008, the only annual conference for the Indian software product industry, is to be held on August 11 & 12 at Bangalore.

Key Highlights:
NASSCOM Product Business Study LaunchEmerging Global & Domestic OpportunitiesKey emerging opportunities for the Indian Product IndustryShowcase of emerging product companies Intel Initiative for Indian Product CompaniesHigh potential sectors: Customer Insights on Industry Verticals; their Expectations of productsTalent proposition for Product Business in IndiaProduct Business - Shift from Product Development to Product ManagementUnderstanding Markets, Customers and “Go-to-market” strategies and methodologyIndustry analysts on Issues around capital, growth, organizational structuring; Angel, VC and PE investment priorities and value propositions
Key speakers include Kiran Karnik, Former President of Nasscom; Alok Mittal of Canaan Partners; Bala Iyer, Reliance Retail; Bharat Goenka, Tally; Dr. Heinz Theilman…

GVFL invests Rs. 11 Crores in tool maker for diamond industry

From Press Release:

GVFL Limited, India’s pioneer Venture Capital Company announces an investment of Rs. 110 million in Sahajanand Laser Technology Limited, India’s one of the largest manufacturers of Laser Systems for Diamond Industry. GVFL will make the investment from its Rs. 650 million SME Technology Venture Fund. Sahajanand Laser Technology based in Gandhinagar will be utilizing the funds in the expansion of their range of high – end laser machines.

Sahajanand Laser is the 65th investment being made by GVFL in innovative technology companies across India.

About GVFL Ltd.

GVFL Limited, started by Gujarat Industrial and Investment Corporation (GIIC) at the initiative of the World Bank in July 1990, has recently launched SME Technology Venture Fund of corpus Rs. 2500 million. The SME Fund, a pan-India fund, is used for investing in various projects of both Small & Medium Technology Companies in IT, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and other sectors. GVFL Limited has made its first in…

The race for Africa's natural resources

Knoweldge@Wharton has an article on how African countries like South Africa, Botswana and Congo are coping with the race for natural resources.

Mining is (South Africa's) biggest employer: a half-million people are employed directly by mines and another 400,000 indirectly through associated services like shipping. South African mines produce nearly 90% of the world's platinum, 80% of manganese, 73% of chrome and -- despite its recent slip in position -- 43% of the world's gold. Mining overall contributed 7% to South Africa's GDP in 2006. When adjusted for associated services and additional industry output, such as electricity production, the total rises to 18.4%.

...there is no doubt that global competition is changing the rules -- and the stakes -- in Africa's mining industry. Huckle noted the increasing presence of Chinese mining companies in Africa and their tendency to conduct business differently than companies from democratic countries. "When the Chinese …

Deal Alert: Steel construction co. Geodesic Techniques raises $11-M

Extracts from Press Release:

Geodesic Techniques, a leading player in steel-based construction, today announced that the company has received an investment of about $11 million (Rs. 45 crores) from Mayfield Fund and Silicon Vally Bank (SVB) in return for a minority stake. Mayfield led the round. The funds will be utilized for setting up a steel fabrication unit in Bidar and for other working capital requirements. Veda Corporate Advisors intermediated the deal.



Geodesic is a leading design & build player specialized in steel based construction and signature structures. The company is involved in prestigious projects such as the Mumbai and Delhi International Airports. The company has to its credit marquee corporate customers and end-users such as Infosys, TCS, L&T, GVK & GMR. It is currently in the midst of an aggressive expansion plan and the fund infusion is expected to help meet its growth objectives.

Srinidhi Anantharaman, Managing Director, Geodesic Techniques, said, “I a…

Indian School of Business event on Private Equity

The Indian School of Business is organizing an event on Private Equity event at its Hyderabad campus on September 6. The theme of the
event is "Private Equity: Pioneering Practices, Partnering Businesses".

The event would involve a keynote speaker and two panel discussions on

- Quo Vadis Private Equity? Sunrise sectors, deal valuations and exit strategies

- Private Equity: Adding value to India Inc's business practices

For more information, contact Irshad Daftari on irshad_daftari@pgp2009.isb.edu or +91-97058-06219

Top execs from Wipro BPO, Motilal Oswal join speaker roster at IT Services & BPO Connect '08

Ashutosh Vaidya, CEO, Wipro BPO and Raj Chatterjea, Director-M&A, Motilal Oswal have joined the exciting speaker line up at IT Services & BPO Connect '08 (IB Connect).

IB Connect is a conference that brings together investors, entrepreneurs and top executives in the IT Services & BPO sectors to network, discuss and share best practices. The 2008 edition, to be held on August 28 at Mumbai, aims to review current trends and explore new opportunities.

Other speakers at the conference include:

- Aparup Sengupta, CEO, Aegis BPO
- Nitin Shah, CMD, Allied Digital
- Salil Parekh, Executive Chairman, Capgemini India
- Akshaya Bhargava, CEO, Fulcrum Group*
- Partha De Sarkar, CEO, HTMT Global
- Srinath Batni, Director, Infosys
- Shailesh Shah, Chief Strategy Officer, Satyam
- V.K. Raman, Head-BPO Services, TCS
- Dev Raman, Principal, Tricolor India
- Rajesh Jain, Director, KPMG
- Niteen Tulpule, Director, KPMG

Like other Venture Intelligence conferences, IB Connect '08 too will feature sp…

End of Mall Mania?

Deepak Shenoy has an interesting post on the "Bad news and then more bad news" for mall developers and their tenants:
Remember how the funda worked:
* "Premium" apartments come up
* Malls come up nearby saying ok, these guys need to shop
* Apartment rentals and prices go up saying oh there are so many malls nearby. "Developed" area.
* Mall rentals go up saying look at the real estate prices here.
* Some big retailer sets up shop and promptly loses money but terms it a long term investment.
* Everyone else says heck, if he can lose money, so can we, so they also do the same thing.

Now someone's knocked some sense into everyone's head. (It's called "reality") So as real estate prices have come off the highs, and retailers vanish, soon mall and house rentals will follow. Ghost malls are likely to be common as developers, now flush with cash after the boom, decide they will "ride it out". They'll pay interest - in…

Deal Alert: Eastgate Capital Group invests Rs 100 crore in Avendus

From Press Release

Avendus Capital Pvt Ltd, India‘s leading financial services company, today announced, that it has raised Rs 100 crore in equity from private equity firm Eastgate Capital Group. The primary objective of this investment is to strengthen the institutional broking franchise of Avendus Capital and fuel Avendus’ international expansion with a special focus on USA and Europe. Currently, Avendus Capital has its offices in Mumbai, Bangalore and New York.

Eastgate Capital Group (ECG) is the private equity subsidiary of NCB Capital, the investment banking arm of the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia (NCB). ECG has $800mn of commitments under management across three funds. The current investment in Avendus Capital is from the Eastgate Global Emerging Markets Fund.

Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Nasr-Eddine Benaissa, Co-Managing Partner, Eastgate Capital, said, “We believe India is one of the most attractive markets in the world and is well positioned to be a driving force …

"IT-BPOs vs. pure plays"

Business Today has an article based on a round table discussion featuring Pramod Bhasin, President & CEO, Genpact; Ananda Mukerji, MD& CEO, Firstsource; Raman Roy, MD, Quatrro BPO Solutions; Akhil Gupta, Senior Managing Director & Chairman, Blackstone India; Michel E. de Zeeuw, Vice President, Europe & Africa, Infosys BPO; and Som Mittal, President, Nasscom
BT: Who is doing better—pure play BPOs or the so-called IT-BPOs?
Mukerji: It depends on who you ask… (laughs). I don’t think it’s a matter of pure play BPO companies versus third party IT services companies and whose model is better. I think BPO business is a different business and requires different dynamics, different success factors, and I think it’s good that there are companies that have come into this industry are those that have done some fantastic work in IT. If you look the world around you and see how many BPO companies are there, they are all growing, they are all doing well, there is enough demand out ther…

Are the Best Years of Outsourcing Behind Us? Find out at IB Connect '08

Spooked by the appreciating rupee, stock markets punished IT Services and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies in 2007 - even while stocks in other sectors were booming. Private Equity and Venture Capital investments in outsourcing companies have also declined 50% in the first half of 2008 compared to H1 '07.

All of which prompts the question: are the best years of Indian outsourcing companies behind us? At IT Services & BPO Connect '08 (IB Connect), leading industry executives and top investors will discuss this and other crucial questions facing Indian outsourcing.

Speakers at the conference include:

- Aparup Sengupta, CEO, Aegis BPO
- Nitin Shah, CMD, Allied Digital
- Salil Parekh, Executive Chairman, Capgemini India
- Akshaya Bhargava, CEO, Fulcrum Group*
- Partha De Sarkar, CEO, HTMT Global
- Srinath Batni, Director, Infosys
- Shailesh Shah, Chief Strategy Officer, Satyam
- V.K. Raman, Head-BPO Services, TCS
- Dev Raman, Principal, Tricolor India
- Abhay Havaldar, MD, …

Real Estate PE firms turning builders

Economic Times has an article on how Real Estate funds are building expertise to execute projects inhouse.
For the funds, the idea is to have better control over their development partners while others are clear that they also want to make the kind of margins that construction offers (25-35%). Apart from the cost advantage, this would also mean a lower dependence on construction companies in a scenario where execution capability bottlenecks are threatening to derail projects.

Trikona Capital, which has over $1-billion investments committed in India, is setting up a development group, which will be headed by the ex-chairman of HUDCO, Dr PS Rana. “There is very little scalability in India. My best development partner has at best developed 5 million sq ft of space,” says Trikona MD Aashish Kalra. Execution is the most important thing, he says.

...“There needs to be a degree of control over your projects. We also believe that there is a development margin to be made here and that will now …

Profile of National Entrepreneurship Network

Business Today has article on the pioneering efforts of NEN, which has been promoted by NRI entrepreneur Romesh Wadhwani, to promote entrepreneurship in India.
NEN began with six colleges (winners of a competition in 2002 called Lock Stock and Trade) in Mumbai and spent the next few years building its own team, bank of students’ cells and entrepreneur-advisors as it sought to effect a change in the mindsets of students. “Five years ago, when we launched NEN, there was a clear need to accelerate entrepreneurship in India, especially at the college and university levels,” says Romesh Wadhwani, serial entrepreneur, whose eponymous foundation runs this network. The original goal for NEN was to launch thousands of first-generation entrepreneurs over 10 years, creating 100,000 high quality jobs and accelerating economic development in India. “Five years on, we have come a long way and made a big difference. Today, there are nearly 400 colleges and universities with entrepreneurship programme…

Buyouts: Increasingly in fashion

Business Today has an article on how PE firms in India are becoming warmer towards doing buyout deals.
There are those that are happy to take a minority stake in a private company, some even invest in publicly-listed companies, while some others buy out companies, never mind if they are listed or unlisted. But typically, most promoters rarely part with a majority stake in their companies. Therefore, venture investors have no choice but to settle for minority ownership. Yet, there are three PE firms in the country— Actis, Baring, and India Value Fund (IVF)—that like to invest for control.

...With competition growing, the economy slowing down and the quantum of PE money committed to India—the three firms alone have raised some $1.35 billion—the going will get harder. “This is a business only for specialised players,” feels Varun Sood, Managing Partner of Capvent India Advisors, a fund of funds, “and only those firms that have kept the discipline while investing will provide meaningful ret…

Profile of pharma-focused dealmaker Mehta Partners

Businessworld has a profile of New York-headquartered Mehta Partners, which served as the "strategic business advisor" to Daiichi on its acquisition of Ranbaxy.
Tarun Shah) represents Mehta Partners, a Wall Street boutique strategic and institutional advisory firm, in India. It is this outfit, known to few people outside the pharma and biotech industry, whose New York and Vadodara teams masterminded the idea of combining Ranbaxy, a generics powerhouse making cut-price copycats, with Daiichi Sankyo, a Japanese innovator company making patented, premium-priced medicines. Mehta Partners were advisors to Daiichi Sankyo.

It is a transaction that is pathbreaking. “This deal has busted three myths,” says Shah. “That innovators will never buy generics, that Indian promoters will never sell (their business), and that the Japanese are slow.”

It all began with an idea. Sometime in October 2007, Viren Mehta, 57, the India-born founder of Mehta Partners flew down from his office in New York…

Deal Alert: Pharma firm Themis Labs raises Rs. 90-Cr from NYLIM India

From Press Release:

Themis Laboratories Private Limited (Themis Laboratories), India’s leading pharmaceutical company specializing in developing and manufacturing of pharmaceutical formulations using novel drug delivery systems (“NDDS”), today announced that the company has received an equity investment of INR 900 million from NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund III, LLC (“NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund”), a Mauritius based Private Equity investor.

Commenting on the deal, Mr. Janak Shah, Chairman, Themis Laboratories, said, “Themis Laboratories has emerged as one of India’s leading novel drug delivery companies with a robust pipeline backed by a strong research and development (“R&D”) setup. This investment by NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund would help strengthen the company’s foray into the regulated markets. We believe this partnership will help us realize our vision to be a significant player in the global NDDS space.”

He further added that the investment would be utilized to finance the …

2i Capital announces first close of its "Indian Enterprise Fund"

From Press Release


The 2i Capital Group announces the First Closing of its “Indian Enterprise Fund” at USD 60 million. The Fund is targeting to raise USD 200 million.

Vivek Sekhar, CEO of 2i Capital (India) Pvt. Ltd. said “2i Capital has been able to build strong deal flow based on its depth of relationships and long investment experience of its team”. He added that investee companies in India recognise that 2i Capital’s team members have added operational and strategic value to their companies over many years apart from being the first provider of equity capital in many cases. This goodwill along with the long-term investment insight of the team has contributed to 2i Capital’s success in creating deal flow as well as high investment returns.

2i Capital’s strategy is to invest in mid-size companies with strong management teams which are operating in high growth consumer or industrial markets. Vivek Sekhar said: “We identify companies that are in strong and growing sectors, which have …

Interview with Gaurav Mathur of India Equity Partners

Venture Intelligence recently spoke to Gaurav Mathur, Managing Director of India Equity Partners (IEP), which has announced half-a-dozen investments in the country over the last 18 months. The firm’s portfolio includes Amtek India (Auto Components), Bharti Infratel (Telecom Infra), Ikya Human Capital (HR Services), Jai Balaji Industries (Steel), Mannapuram Group (Financial Services) and Ocean Sparkle (Port Management).



Venture Intelligence: Tell us about IEP founding and its mandate / investment thesis.
Gaurav Mathur: In 2003 Anurag Bhargava, who is based out of New York, wanted to start a real estate fund focused on India. He teamed up with Steven Wisch to start a $147 million fund called the India Real Estate Opportunity (IREO) fund as one of the early real estate funds in India. (Today, IREO manages around $1.6 billon of capital mostly raised from US institutional investors.)

In 2005, after working with JP Morgan for five years, I started to raise a fund along with a couple of other f…